7th April

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FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2020 – CHW

So now the BBC outrage is about care homes and the suggestion that the elderly might not actually be treated in hospital as they have been ‘coerced’ into signing a ‘do not resuscitate form’. We all die of something!

A friend who is incarcerated in France sends me the last but one issue of Private Eye with a good article on this subject. I had already enjoyed it, but last week’s missives are even more to the point. In a drive for the truth rather than BBC hysteria, pleading, demanding and bullying I attach a quote or two. As I have said before Boris and the government are damned if they do (with no thanks at all) and damned if they do not (because it is impossible to move that fast in reality).

When will the BBC run out of new sets of daily victims who must be instantly appeased with cash and action? Is it the intention of the media to totally bankrupt the country? When will common sense prevail?

Here are the Private Eye quotes:

[…] And yet if the government had continued with its “herd immunity” plan (as Donald Trump is doing), 260,000 people could have died with the virus. Some may have died soon of something else, but the headline figure was a little on the high side even for Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s brain. This sudden surge in demand would crash the health service; hence the decision to crash the economy instead. But could we have stopped the pandemic if we’d got a grip earlier?

Bat-shit crazy
A STUDY of the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 published in Nature on 17 March has pinned it not on mad scientists wanting to rule the world, but on bats. It probably crossed to humans in the live animal markets of Wuhan, which are still the perfect storm for transmission.
The virus was on the wall in 2003, but unhygienic veterinary, slaughter and husbandry practices, and an illegal global trade in exotic animals for food, have continued unabated. Bats are fortunately a protected species in the UK, even if Waitrose has run out of grouse. Elsewhere, they should only be sold pre-cooked, chlorinated or as part of a ready meal.

The self-employed painters have started work on painting the back yard here and are then starting on the village itself as part of the regular ongoing four to five year repainting cycle on the estate. Inevitably woodwork repairs have to precede painting so the hope is that part of our maintenance team may soon decide to come back to work in isolation.

Lockdown in the garden is not proving that tedious but writing the plant care articles for the website certainly is. Fifty done to date out of about 120 still left to do.

The wind has been in the south for a bit but still no house martins sighted yet.

Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum just coming out. Wonderful indumentum under the leaves.

Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochrysanthemum
Views from the top of Hovel Cart Road towards Old Park. The birch species are well into leaf.
View from top of Hovel
View from top of Hovel
View from top of Hovel
View from top of Hovel
The very last clump of daffodils to come into flower each year in April on Hovel Cart Road.
Daffodils
Daffodils
Daffodils
Daffodils
First flowers out on Dad’s Rhododendron moorei x euchaites which has never been named. The best forms are on the drive at Burncoose.
Rhododendron moorei x euchaites
Rhododendron moorei x euchaites
Rhododendron moorei x euchaites
Rhododendron moorei x euchaites
Flowers on a young Rhododendron neriiflorum ssp. phaedropum which I think we saw for the first time last year.
Rhododendron neriiflorum ssp. phaedropum
Rhododendron neriiflorum ssp. phaedropum
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’ looking good alongside the old yellowish leaves of Neolitsea sericea which will soon drop as the new growth starts.
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’
The first pure white and pink bluebells.
While bluebells
While bluebells
Pink bluebells
Pink bluebells
On the plan this appears to be Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’ (Asia may know). A very fine double flower today fading to salmon pink. The plants in this clump came back with us from the garden show at Landriana south of Rome which Burncoose exhibited at a couple of times when the children were much younger. Asia should propagate this one.
Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’
Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’
Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’
Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’
Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’
Azalea ‘Gerard’s Salmon’
This Metrosideros which has been grown on lovingly in the greenhouse for years is destined to try its luck against this wall (where a camellia seedling has just been dug out). Forty years ago a mature Metrodsideros tree grew here and was spectacular in the summer. Asia will need to fleece it up next winter.
Metrosideros
Metrosideros
Metrosideros
Metrosideros
Akebia quinata ‘Alba’ is now a dense mat of growth 20ft up this wall. You can clearly see the male and female flowers in the same flower clusters.
Akebia quinata ‘Alba’
Akebia quinata ‘Alba’
Akebia quinata ‘Alba’
Akebia quinata ‘Alba’
This was a gift from Roy Lancaster last year. We are pretty sure it is Pittosporum illiciodes var. angustifolium which has long linear leaves and tiny pale yellow bell shaped flowers on long stalks as here.
Pittosporum illiciodes var. angustifolium
Pittosporum illiciodes var. angustifolium
Pittosporum illiciodes var. angustifolium
Pittosporum illiciodes var. angustifolium
Viburnum taitoense has attractive bronzy new growth. Another of Asia’s successes.
Viburnum taitoense
Viburnum taitoense
Viburnum taitoense
Viburnum taitoense
Raf Lenaerts’ gift of Magnolia laevifolia x M. maudiae BKR has two flowers in the greenhouse. It came in February this year. Scent good (as would be expected).
Magnolia laevifolia x M. maudiae BKR
Magnolia laevifolia x M. maudiae BKR
Magnolia laevifolia x M. maudiae BKR
Magnolia laevifolia x M. maudiae BKR
I always get muddled between Stauntonia hexaphylla and Holboellia since they appear so similar both in terms of leaves and flowers. I am pretty sure however that this is S. hexaphylla. It is one hell of an old, vigorous and floriferous evergreen climber.
Stauntonia hexaphylla
Stauntonia hexaphylla
Stauntonia hexaphylla
Stauntonia hexaphylla
A single flower on a very elderly and probably dying Rhododendron scabrifolium. Not the most impressive species I have ever seen!
Rhododendron scabrifolium
Rhododendron scabrifolium
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’ is just coming out. A few years ago the wind split this plant nearly in two but the scar has now healed well as you can see clearly here.
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’
Wonderful new growth buds on Salix fargesii. Planted in 2010 and now a stout multi-stemmed shrub.
Salix fargesii
Salix fargesii
Salix fargesii
Salix fargesii
New leaves on Prunus conradinae planted in 2010.
Prunus conradinae
Prunus conradinae
I find another 2011 planted Magnolia loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’ which is already a large tree.
2011 planted Magnolia loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
2011 planted Magnolia loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Acer morifolium already completely leafed up.
Acer morifolium
Acer morifolium
Acer morifolium
Acer morifolium
Another Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’ is full out in the wind.
Another Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’
Another Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’
Another Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’
Another Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’
Buddleia salvifolia just coming out.
Buddleia salvifolia
Buddleia salvifolia
Buddleia salvifolia
Buddleia salvifolia

2019 – CHW Jaimie has trimmed the laurel hedge to reopen the view of Porthluney Cove to visitors who walk down below the main quarry. We had not noticed how much the laurel had grown until it was pointed out.

view of Porthluney Cove
view of Porthluney Cove
A wonderful Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’ perfectly in flower in Burncoose gardens today below the beech trees near the lawn. A tent on the lawn for the weekend wedding letting.
Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’
Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’
Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’
Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’
Illicium simonii planted out at Burncoose only two years ago is flowering nicely for the first time. Very different to the Illicium anisatum which we know well of old. Nice scent too.
Illicium simonii
Illicium simonii
Illicium simonii
Illicium simonii

Then on to Trevena Cross garden centre to look at the new awning over their shop front entrance. The listed building officer is objecting to our planning application for a new greenhouse add-on to the sales point (ie more sales area under cover at Burncoose) because he says it removes a historic ‘courtyard’. Since when was a muckyard between two old piggeries a historic ‘courtyard’? Instead we could try a similar covering which might not need planning permission?

I was taken with only two new (to me) plants at Trevena although it is a first class garden centre for varied plants. Picea pungens ‘Edith’ and Vinca minor ‘Verino’. They have an amazing range of agave, Protea and succulents and it is a proper plantsman’s garden centre not one of the bland multiples. All credit to a proper family run business who are clearly doing well. They tried mail order, but found it a hassle, so we probably both have our separate business ‘niches’!

Trevena Cross garden centre
Trevena Cross garden centre

2018 – CHW
Saturday 7th of April saw us claiming nine first prizes at the first RHS Savill Garden Flower Show in Windsor. These are shown below:

We also scooped :

Class 1 – 4th with Prunus serrulate ‘Shipotae’, Stachyurus chinensis, Pieris ‘Charles Michael’ and Osmanthus delavayi

Class 9 – 2nd with R. praestans and a 4th with macabeanum.

Class 13 – 1st picturered below, 2nd M. ‘Purple Sensation, and 3rd M. sprengeri ‘Diva’

Class 25 – 2nd with R. impeditum ‘J.C. Williams’

 

Savill class 2 - Rhododendron macabeanum, praestans, nivuem
Class 2 – Rhododendron macabeanum, praestans, nivuem
Savill class 5 - Rhododendron arborea niveum
Class 5 – Rhododendron arborea niveum
Savill class 6 - Azara microphillia 'Variegata'
Class 6 – Azara microphllya ‘Variegata’
Savill class 9 - Rhododendron sinogrande
Class 9 – Rhododendron sinogrande
Savill class 13 - Magnolia campbellii alba ‘Trelissick’
Class 13 – Magnolia campbellii alba ‘Trelissick’
Savill class 16 - magnolia denudata 'Sunrise'
Class 16 – Magnolia denudata ‘Sunrise’
Savill Class 15 - Magnolia acuminata 'Butterflies'
Class 15 – Magnolia acuminata ‘Butterflies’
Savill class 24 - Rhododendron siderophyllum
Class 24 – Rhododendron siderophyllum
Savill Class 32 Win - montroseanum x unknown
Class 32 – montroseanum x unknown
2017 – CHW
A rhododendron lecture and tour with 17 attendees.Rhododendron niveum in full flower. Not a colour for everyone but perhaps for the ladies. We need to clear around this plant.
Rhododendron niveum
Rhododendron niveum
Rhododendron niveum
Rhododendron niveum
Rhododendron niveum
Rhododendron niveum
Rhododendron rothschildii now full out.
Rhododendron rothschildii
Rhododendron rothschildii
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum below Lower Quarry Nursery is a superb colour when just out. The debate about its name and parentage continues. I doubt this is correct! These big leaf plants were replacements for ones which died after the 1976 drought. This rules out it being a Rhododendron kesangiae as this was only introduced to the UK about then. Its colour is purple and not that of a ‘red’ arizelum.
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum
Rhododendron arizelum var rubiscosum
Then off on a four and a half hour drive to the Savill Gardens for the RHS early rhododendron show with a few exhibits in the car boot prepared by Michael.
exhibits in the car boot
exhibits in the car boot
Rhododendron kesangiae exhibited from the Crown Estate. Note how different it is to our plant as above.
Rhododendron kesangiae
Rhododendron kesangiae
Rhododendron kesangiae
Rhododendron kesangiae
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’ on the show bench.
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Out in the New Zealand garden beside the show tent we find a fine clump of Hebe rakiensis.
Hebe rakiensis
Hebe rakiensis
Hebe rakiensis
Hebe rakiensis
Prunus ‘Matsumae Akathu Kinokana’
Prunus ‘Matsumae Akathu Kinokana’
Prunus ‘Matsumae Akathu Kinokana’
Prunus ‘Matsumae Akathu Kinokana’
Prunus ‘Matsumae Akathu Kinokana’
(Bamboo) Chusquea couleou nicely pruned to show off its stems properly.
Chusquea couleou
Chusquea couleou
Chusquea couleou
Chusquea couleou
Acer negundo ‘Kellys Gold’ with flower and emerging golden leaves.
Acer negundo ‘Kellys Gold’
Acer negundo ‘Kellys Gold’
A fantastic display of Lysichiton americanum which we are now banned by Defra from including in our catalogue and selling as it is considered ‘invasive’! No ban in the Savill Gardens!
Lysichiton americanum
Lysichiton americanum
Lysichiton americanum
Lysichiton americanum
Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rockfordianum’ beside the Temperate House.
Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rockfordianum’
Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rockfordianum’
Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rockfordianum’
Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rockfordianum’
Never seen before – Viburnum bitchiuense.
Viburnum bitchiuense
Viburnum bitchiuense
Viburnum bitchiuense
Viburnum bitchiuense
Rhododendron russatum flowering sparsely.
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
A bold show from Malus sieversii.
Malus sieversii
Malus sieversii
Malus sieversii
Malus sieversii
Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aurea’ glowing in the sun.
Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aurea’
Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aurea’
Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aurea’
Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aurea’
Mahonia nervosa as a mature clump and full out. The mahonia collection here is most impressive.
Mahonia nervosa
Mahonia nervosa
Mahonia nervosa
Mahonia nervosa
Primula sieboldii as a nice clump also in the sun.
Primula sieboldii
Primula sieboldii
Primula sieboldii
Primula sieboldii
Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ as a good established clump.
Erythronium ‘Pagoda’
Erythronium ‘Pagoda’
Erythronium ‘Pagoda’
Erythronium ‘Pagoda’
A massive trunk on a mature Acer davidii.
Acer davidii
Acer davidii
Primula denticulata just fading a little.
Primula denticulata
Primula denticulata

2016 – CHW
Another fine and dry day for the 34 members of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group to make their tour of Caerhays and view part of the private and previously unseen Wilson/Forrest archive in their centenary year. From 10.45 to 12.00 we looked at the superb magnolias up the drive. Then an hour in the Billiard Room and Museum viewing the archive and lunch in the Dining Room and Georgian Hall. The main garden tour ended in the tearooms at 4.45 with everyone still dry and somewhat exhausted.

Archive room
Archive room
Archive room
Archive room
Archive room
Archive room
tour
tour
tour
tour
group photo
group photo

Caerhays centenary day attendees:Lyn Aldridge and guest

Mary Ashworth

Russell Beeson

Peter and Pat Bucknell

Barry Champion

Sarah Chesters

Wella and Katy Chubb

Colin Clark and guest

Edwards

Vaughan Gallavan

George Hargreaves

Alex Hill

Gary Long and guests

Nicky Manisty and guests

John Marston and guest

Graham Mills and guest

David Millais

Cheryl Sapote

Ray Steele and guests

Peter Watson and guest

2015 – CHW

SPANISH Bluebells
SPANISH Bluebells

The Spanish bluebells outside the front gate have popped out into flower.  We live in the jobsworth era where Defra and the National Trust just love miseducating the public about ‘invasive’ plants.  Spanish bluebells (like rhododendrons) have become hated aliens to be abused and destroyed in Dalek like fashion.   Supposedly they interbreed with our native bluebells and make their progeny bigger and lighter in colour.  These Spaniards have not cross bred or developed at all as a clump in my lifetime although they are surrounded by natives.  I guess they were planted by my great grandfather.   A year or two ago I had correspondence on the subject with the environmental correspondent of the Western Morning News.  The consensus was that this was all another load of bollocks from a ministry that has just supremely cocked up the online computer system for the new European Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) which has now been abandoned in favour of paper applications with an extended deadline.  Perhaps I will start the Bluebell Protection Scheme.

1934 – JCW
Magnolias as in 1930. Denudata is the best of them.

1936 – JCW
Cyclamineus at the glass door starting to open on Jan 26th was quite fresh on this day, a late season, some Magnolia kobus – stellata – conspiscua and denudata purpurescens.

1928 – JCW
Poets opening and the best daffs are all over. The blue tit forms are good. The pink Triflorums are opening. Bob’s white heath is and has long been good.

1927 – JCW
We are well behind 1926. No sign of an Auklandii yet.

1926 – JCW
Some Auklandii open. Daffs in the poets are nearly over.

1925 – JCW
No Auklandii moving. Well behind 1923 (April 8th).

1919 – JCW
A few de Graaf open. The spring seems to have conquered the cold now. The heaths are very good. The rhodo’s went a week to shake off the frost. Engelhart and Clare were here for Sunday.

1908 – JCW
The show at Truro. De Graaf just out in a hot place, very few and bad of them at the show. All flowers were rough and below the best form. PDW’s very good.

1905 – JCW
Nearly half our de Graaf open, Weardale going back. Cherries a quarter open.

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